Back to St Paul’s again this week. The modern image was taken by Joao Mario along Bankside last week; the other is 100 years old.
The foreground is utterly recast. This area took one hell of a blitzing, while the cathedral, symbolically, remained seemingly unscathed.
Look closely at the City of London School for Boys (the brown foreground building in the 2007 shot). Its contours, to the left of the sloping roof, loosely mimic the older warehouses, although we can find no evidence that this is intentional.
If we could send a camera back another three hundred years, the foreground would be dominated by Baynard’s Castle. This Norman stronghold was destroyed in the Great Fire, along with Old St Paul’s. (Though we can commend this cheeky view of how the old spire might have appeared on the skyline.)
Aside from the cathedral it is hard to find other similarities. The Barbican, Aldersgate and Lloyds towers offer a background unimaginable in Edwardian times. Our industrious forefathers may have appreciated the obvious construction work, long a feature of the City skyline. The Square Mile renews itself yet again. And the paddle boat has been replaced by a floating skip. Progress, of a sorts.
Want to contribute? Head over to the London, Old & New Flickr group.